FC Edmonton academy product Allan Zebie continues to carry the torch for local Edmonton players competing in the North American Soccer League (NASL) following his appearance against North Carolina FC on Saturday, April 15.
Zebie came off the bench to replace midfielder Nico Di Biase in the club’s 3-1 loss to NCFC this past weekend, earning the Paris-born defender his first minutes of the 2017 campaign. Zebie displayed his versatility as he stepped into the holding-midfield role and completed 96 per cent of his passes in 49 minutes of play despite playing a majority of his matches in defence for Edmonton.
“It was a little different playing in midfield, but I played there when I was growing up and enjoyed it,” Zebie said. “I can run a lot, win tackles and I am a simple player who likes to play with one or two touches. I think I can help out defensively in the midfield, but it really doesn’t matter much to me. Wherever I can help the team the most, that’s where I will play.”
Zebie offered Edmonton defensive stability as he entered the fray in the first half and the 23-year-old was also a key factor in the eddies maintaining possession in the second half. However, Zebie feel there is still lots of room for improvement in his midfield game.
“I want to get on the ball more,” Zebie stated. “As a midfielder that’s your job. You have to get the ball from the defenders and find the midfielders or strikers. I want to be more confident on the ball and I know the more I’m on the ball, the more confident I’ll become. I want to help my teammates out and if I can talk more on the pitch, then I can help them get in better positions, too.”
The academy product is one of two Edmonton players who played youth soccer locally. Zebie and Marko Aleksic are two local boys who continue to carry the torch for home grown players competing in the NASL. Representing your local team is something Zebie takes a lot of pride in every single time he puts on the FC Edmonton jersey.
“We want to be an example for the academy kids,” Zebie said. “I feel it’s important because we have a bunch of academy kids who want to play for the first team. I feel like Marko [Aleksic] and I owe it to them and to show them the right way of making it. We’ve always had a few guys from the academy on the team and hopefully we can keep that going.”